Climbie parents back Arthurworrey but urge top managers to take flak

The parents of Victoria Climbie have welcomed the removal of Lisa
Arthurworrey from a list of people considered unsuitable to work
with children but have called for the social worker’s senior
managers be punished.

Their comments follow last week’s decision by the Care Standards
Tribunal to uphold Arthurworrey’s appeal to have her name removed
from the Protection of Children Act list.

In a statement, Berthe and Francis Climbie said senior managers and
councillors responsible for “the chaos that passed for social care
in Haringey [Council]” at the time of Victoria’s murder should be
brought to account. “Arthurworrey was a convenient scapegoat for
the senior people to hide their feelings behind.”

The statement added that the council had taken no action against
Gina Adamou, who was chair of social services, or Mary Richardson,
then social services director.

The parents pointed to the fact that Richardson was now social
services director at Hackney. Last week the council announced an
independent review into agencies’ handling of a case in which a
girl of eight was tortured by her carers, who believed she was a

Hackney made no comment on behalf of Richardson, who has been on
sick leave since December 2004.

A Haringey spokesperson said the recommendations that the
government demanded after Lord Laming’s inquiry into Victoria’s
death had been implemented.

Liz Davies, a social work lecturer at London Metropolitan
University who has backed Arthurworrey, said the Poca list was an
inappropriate way to address poor practice among people who were
not directly involved in abusing children themselves.

“[The decision is] important for all social workers in child
protection,” she said. “It has made some legal precedent. Some
people facing disciplinaries are concerned that they could be
thrown on to that list.”

A Department for Education and Skills spokesperson said the
government would study the judgement and “consider what impact, if
any, it has on DfES policy”.

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